When we were introduced to Kuzan in the post timeskip at Chapter 699, Doflamingo asked Kuzan the question we all wanted to ask – what’s Kuzan’s game now?
Oda even used Doflamingo to tell us that Kuzan isn’t an aimless man.
“The face of a mere wanderer and that of a man with determination… they’re quite different”
The popular belief among the fandom was that he was the secret captain of SWORD and he infiltrated Blackbeard’s crew to undermine them down from the inside (like X Drake & Beasts Pirates) but the latest chapters clearly established that:
1- SWORD is a well-known Marine organization.
2- Kuzan isn’t part of them, considering how he’s fighting Garp.
The question of Kuzan being a Marine still has (almost) been put to rest.
The titular question though, is again posed even this chapter – through Blackbeard.
Kuzan clearly has some inner motivation for what he’s working with the Blackbeard Pirates as the Tenth Titanic Captain.
Another important incident that shapes who Kuzan is, is the Ohara incident. We’re again shown that Kuzan remembers it as a sad memory this chapter.
And again & again, we are being reminded that what the World Government has in store for Egghead is a fate worse than what Ohara suffered.
If Egghead turns out to be another Ohara-esque incident of mass destruction and censorship by the Government, I am sure that it will impact Kuzan’s motivations and actions in the future, to make him take up fate into his own hands again, as he said.
So what exactly is Kuzan working to achieve? What would his future role be in the series?
Personally, Kuzan seems set up to be one of the most interesting characters Oda has ever written.
Some traits I find common among complex and memorable characters are is that they are written to be going through circumstances which place them at both end of the spectrum of the World. This allows for Oda to show complex themes and ideals through the said character.
For example, take Doflamingo, a former Celestial Dragon who, by circumstances, was forced to relinquish his position and climb the ranks of Piracy which was juxtaposed beautifully with his younger brother Rocinante becoming a Marine to stop Doflamingo.
A former high ranking Marine who left them due to his refusal to work under an extremist agenda (embodied by Fleet Admiral Sakazuki) and who is now working with Marshall D. Teach, an Emperor of the Seas, to pursue his own goals is a very similar set up and has huge potential.
Hopefully Oda pulls through with it.